Greetings! I pray that you are feeling the warmth and brightness of the sun as its journey across the sky gradually grows longer and longer. This week’s message, music and mission reflect that energy and the movement outward and into the world (not the typical Lenten focus).
Chris Davis opens worship with one of his own pieces “Wind and Waterfalls” (it is breathtaking!) Robin Knauss calls us to worship and reads Mark 1:9-15. Our hymns are “Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters,” (490); “Spirit of the Living God,” (288); and “Crashing Waters at Creation,” (476). Finally, Suzanne Grimmesey will give us an update on the status of the Covid-19 distribution effort.
Chris David closes worship just as he opened it, with a beautiful piece from Chopin, “Raindrop Prelude 2.” If you are sensing a water theme, you’re not mistaken.
Rev. Jen Fraser will continue her six-week class, "Reclaiming Evangelism.” This is an honest examination of the history and practice of evangelism with an eye toward re-discovering the intention and meaning behind Matthew 28:19-20. The class consists of four main sections.
1) Evangelism and the early church As the early church was first developing, evangelism was a means of inviting the marginalized into the "way of Jesus." Opening up an alternative spiritual community to Gentiles, the poor, slaves, women, and children in which the Roman honor/shame value system was inverted, and God appeared among (and cared for) the lowest in society.
2) Evangelism and the politically emerging church As the church began to emerge as a political power, hierarchical structures were consolidated within the institution. Evangelism then becomes a means of securing allegiance and controlling the resources within territories.
3) Evangelism as a tool of colonialism From early modern European expansion, to the "Christianizing" of Native American communities, to the contemporary white evangelical church's embrace of the conservative political agenda, evangelism continues to serve as a tool for consolidating power and wealth.
4) Evangelism in a multi-cultural, interfaith society. Is it possible to redeem evangelism from its legacy as a tool of political, social, economic and cultural dominance? What should we call it when we open up about matters of faith with our family, friends and neighbors? Can we share our spiritual/soulful experiences with others without trying to "convert?" Do we as Christian have something of real value to offer the "non-believer?"